Updated February 2nd
Please note I have had to change my email address , which now is email@example.com please use this if you wish to contact me.
I do hope that some of the hints will be of use to you, I can only say what I do and why I do it
as , there is not a right or wrong way of doing things in gardening .
I did write a small book about my life from a garden boy in the 40's and we sold it when I did my "Memory" talk, we donated 50p per book to the British Heart Foundation who received over £1000.00 as a result. I do not get it printed now but on the right is a link by which you can download it to read.
I have been asked to put my talk on to a disc for those who have been unable to hear it, I have done this and a few discs are available ,please email me for details.
At the bottom of this page if you click on "older posts" there are more hints
We have a changeable time with the weather this year but you do have to work with the weather rather than the book.
It may well be too wet to do very much on the soil but you should be getting ready. Seed potatoes should be set up with the eyes uppermost, so they form some good sprouts ready to plant. When the soil is dry enough one of the first things to get in will be the shallots followed by the spring onion sets. I like to plant shallots using a trowel to just move some soil to one side stand the set and then just firm round but not on the sets. If you press down on the set it firms the soil underneath and then the first new roots tend to lift the shallot and later you have to replant. Onion sets however should be planted just under the surface and with them I like to cut off any excess dry top that shows above the soil so that the birds do not pull them up when looking for nesting material.
When the soil is suitable you can plant new fruits like raspberries, gooseberries and currants. I do not like to prune gooseberries too early in case the birds decide to have a go and peck the buds out, if you had already pruned they would be taking buds you need rather than some of the extras that you will prune off. Do allow plenty of space for them to grow. I like to prune these back once they have settled in and not expect fruit in the first year. If you have not completed any winter pruning of apples and pears then when there is not any frost about you should get it done before the leaves start to break.
Now is a good time to prune wisterias if you have not already given them a winter prune.To get wisterias to flower well they do need two pruning twice, once in about July when you reduce back the long new growths to about a third followed by another in the winter when you can further reduce those growths to a couple of buds. If you want to extend the area covered you can leave news grow to up to 2 ft – 3 ft , 60cms – 90cms but no more. This will give you flower buds along the new wood but if you leave them the full length often they will break at the ends leaving large gaps.
If you have dahlias etc.in store then now you should be checking them over ready to start them into growth if you want to take cuttings later. If you are just going to split the tubers up there is no rush. Next month will be the busy one for sowing the seeds etc.
Daffodils can be given a high potash feed to help with the colour of the flowers also to help build up the bulbs for next year. I like to use VitaxQ4 it is now granular which makes it easy to apply
Unless there is damage to the edges that need repair or holes that need filling I would stay off the lawns until next month when you can feed and attack the moss etc.
I have just singled the sweet peas into root trainers, there are 51 from 50 purchased seeds. They always allow one or two extras.
The second picture taken on Jan. 6th show sweet peas breaking with out being stopped , they are been outside ever since they were put into root trainers
My latest picture taken om Friday 16th February shows plants no waiting to be planted once the ground is suitable.
Thse are my first bunch picked 25th May which is right as I usually pick chelsea week.
I went to my allotment this morning to check after hard frost. pleased to see sweet peas still looking good. They were sown on 8th October last year.
Onion sets just starting to show, I plant well down in the soil so that no trouble with birds, having got rid of white rot I get a good crop.
It has been a bad year for me with sweet peas, I decided to try saving my own seed last year and this has been very reasonable but when I planted the plants back in March , the very next day we had storm Katie. This almost blew them out of the ground but enough survived to amke best part of a row. As they came into flower I had bud drop plus a spell in hospital, this meant I had to let the plants go for about a week meaning bent stems. However when show day came I managed one vase of ten, these were good enough to bet best in show so I still hold the cup which I forst won 42 years ago. I have not had it every year but will keep trying.
These are 3 of my seedlings that I have registered and named over the years. I have had prizes at London shows with them including "Best" in section with Ann's Blush. We also have Molly Ann named after our grand daugther
|Now ready to plant early March|